The Washington Wizards beat the Los Angeles Lakers 127-124 on the road to extend their winning streak. Scott Brooks saw it coming.
Although not recognized by Merriam and Webster as an official word in the English language, “coachspeak” is defined by the Wiktionary as “the jargon or pep talks employed by coaches.” I would add that coachspeak is often meaningless and full of empty cliches; ‘put the blinders on keep grinding’ or ‘we have to give 110 percent out there.’ You know, times when coaches are talking a lot but not really saying anything. And that’s exactly what I thought Scott Brooks was up to when he said the Washington Wizards were about to get hot.
It was about a week and a half ago. The Wizards had just dropped an afternoon matchup to the New York Knicks, 109-91, and the Wizards were 6-17. Yet, Brooks was confident things were going to just turn around.
At the time, the quote seemed nonchalant and lacked urgency as Brooks and the Wizards stared up at the rest of the Eastern Conference from the bottom of the standings. For a team that was underperforming on a nightly basis, Brooks seemed awfully unconcerned.
10 days later, it looks like Brooks wasn’t just hoping for the best. Maybe he knew it was coming. Since Brooks predicted an incoming hot streak, the Wizards have gone on a tear and won all five games they have played since, most recently knocking off the defending champs at home. It’s the longest winning streak by the Wizards since 2018, and it hasn’t been a cakewalk. The Wizards beat the Boston Celtics, Houston Rockets, Denver Nuggets, Portland Trail Blazers, and Los Angeles Lakers to get here.
Scott Brooks said the Washington Wizards would start winning. Then they did.
Maybe Brooks knew Westbrook was nearly back to full strength. He, in particular, has looked like a whole new player during the win streak. Maybe he was saving the Garrison Mathews/Moritz Wagner starting lineup (which is now 5-0) until things got desperate out there. Or maybe he simply wasn’t giving up on a team that we all knew was far better than their record suggested.
The season hasn’t been completely saved quite yet, though. The Wizards are still towards the bottom of the conference, currently sitting at 13th in the standings. However, thanks to five-straight wins, their 11-17 record puts them two games behind the Chicago Bulls (currently eighth) and 3.5 games behind the Indiana Pacers (currently fourth).
The Wizards have already played 12 games in February and still have four left to go. This month of madness was supposed to be a make-or-break month for the Wizards. Judging by the results, they’re definitely not breaking. So, do you still want to fire Scott Brooks?